To be honest when i picked up the book i had no idea that it was ‘A Novel In Poems’. I don’t maybe if i knew i would not pick it up or maybe i would because i aspire to someday have my own anthology published. But only after i opened the book when i came back home did i realize that this story was told completely in verse.
This novel truly opened my eyes to the line my mom keeps feeding me, “Your friends must have said this, which is why you are repeating it.” “Don’t try and act like your friends.” “You’re changing because of the company you keep.”
I never quite understood those words because at that time i would disagree and claim that my friends had no claim whatsoever over my thoughts or actions, and that how could i possibly be someone i’m not. That is before i read this novel. It makes you think and ponder over your own life, your friends and life choices.
Sarah was a good girl before she befriended the bad girl, Robin who brought about all that was bad in her life. Due to Robin’s interference her grades started falling, black seemed the only color to be adorned on her and the thread that binds her to the truest friends she’s ever had seems to be tearing apart. Only when tragedy strikes and she does not have the overshadowing figure of Robin behind her does Sarah feel alone and for the first time do her eyes open for the better. Everything comes back into perspective and life seems clearer.
Stephanie Hemphill carved a character right out of us that makes the best of us think if what we’re doing is correct and exactly what we want. Her characters were so believable that i could easily ponder about them and reflect and compare them to my own friends.
This novel was beautiful and perfect. I recommend this to all those who are confused about a certain point of their life or a certain decision that they made that could have affected others as well. This book may not be an obvious guide that will provide clear cut answers to all your questions but it definitely opens your eyes.
My favourite poem was on page 245:
What I Might Say If Robin Were Here
There is a type of friend I want to be,
Not the doll of limited speech
Who talks only when you pull her string
Not some plastic shell whose eyes
Roll back in her head and remain
Closed half the time.
I’m looking for words, Robin, words
To share when our days are charcoal
And vermilion, fuchsia and bronze.
Content: squeaky clean
Profanities: only one…i think